To Mormons, marriage is ordained of God and is intended to last throughout eternity. It is a sacred relationship between a man and woman and affects the happiness of the two in this mortal life and in the world to come. Only in the Mormon Temple can a husband and wife be sealed together in this life and in the eternities. This sealing or bonding together of husband and wife can only be done in the Mormon Temple by one having the proper authority.
In the Mormon Temple couples kneel at one of the sacred altars in the Temple where worthy family and friends may witness this sacred ordinance, which is made before God and two witnesses. They are pronounced husband and wife for time and eternity and is done by one who holds the priesthood of God and has been given the authority to perform the sacred ordinance of sealing. He acts under the direction of God and promises the couple the blessings of exaltation and gives instruction on the things they must do to receive these blessings. These blessings are contingent upon their obedience to the laws of God and to each other.
Mormons believe that we do not just live for this mortal life, but for eternity. This earth life is a ‘testing ground’ to prove ourselves worthy to return to live with our Father in Heaven, and Temple Marriage is a necessary step in achieving that goal.
They believe that the blessings derived from an eternal marriage can be theirs now as well as for eternity. The husband and wife know that their marriage can last forever, even though one may pass away before the other. Nothing can part that couple except disobedience. Because of this knowledge, Mormons believe that it helps them to work harder at creating a happy and successful marriage.
“Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects…It affects not only the two people involved, but their children and…their children’s children…Of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong”, spoke President Spencer W. Kimball [Mormon prophet].1
1 “Gospel Principles”, 1978, p244